Eagles host No. 25 Miami Hurricanes at Hammond Stadium
The Eagles have been on a tear recently. Florida Gulf Coast University’s baseball team (13-7), coming off its second straight series sweep, will play host Wednesday to nationally ranked University of Miami (Fla.) (14-10) at Hammond Stadium. This venue is home to the minor league team Fort Myers Miracle and the Spring Training home to the Minnesota Twins.
Miami’s currently ranked 25th in the nation and has been as high as 13th this season. FGCU has won seven straight games with its two straight series sweeps coming into the game against the Hurricanes.
This game will end non-conference play for the Eagles as they will prepare for a three game series in South Carolina against USC-Upstate this weekend. The Spartans from Upstate currently have a 9-13 record and are 1-2 in the Atlantic Sun conference.
This past weekend, the Eagles were able to dominate Florida A&M to win each of the three games. Hot bats and strong pitching yet again for FGCU lifted them to each victory.
Game one was led by streaking Pitcher Mike Murray (4-0) who picked up his fourth straight victory on Friday. Murray was pulled after 7.0 scoreless innings and allowing just four hits on the night. The sophomore also set a career-high in strikeouts with 13. His performance earned him Atlantic Sun Player of the Week for the second time in a row.
With Murray taking care of business on the defensive side, the Eagles caught fire with their bats as well lifting the team to the 8-1 victory. Gage Morey put on the best performance of his career in game one. Morey hit in all four of his at bats driving in two runs and scoring twice himself. Jake Noll stole his 12th bag of the season, a nation-leading number. Mike Suchy and Kevin Young knocked FGCU’s first homeruns of the game back-to-back in the fifth inning.
“Murray came out and pitched great again,” said coach Dave Tollett “The offense
gave him the support he needed and he was able to settle in and cruise. It was nice to see the bats get rolling and it’s always nice to pick up a win to start a series.”
The bats didn’t slow down in the game 2 victory, 15-2 for FGCU. The Eagles batted hotter in game 2 scoring 15 runs on 14 hits. Pitching wasn’t at its best as starter Nick Deckert (3-2) threw for 5.0 innings allowing 2 earned runs on 7 hits.
Gage Morey led the offense for the Eagles yet again. Morey stole his two bases for the third straight game to add to his three hits and RBI on the night. This marked his seventh-straight game with a hit, marking 15 in that time. Jake Noll had a multiple hits for the ninth time this season.
FAMU originally took the lead scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. The Eagles put a stop to it there scoring in every inning played except two.
Game three went a little different for these two teams. The win for FGCU, 4-3, came on a walk off hit by Zack Tillery to finish the series sweep.
Tillery was called in to pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth and wasted no time as he swung at the first pitch with a runner in scoring position. The Eagles entered the eighth with a 3-1 lead before giving up in the final two innings.
Jake Noll was hot once again as he went 3-5 at the plate and stole three bases to bring his total this year to 15. Noll is just five stolen bases short of the single season record set in 2008. Morey’s seven game hitting streak came to an end as he wasn’t able to pick up a hit in five at bats.
The Eagles now face a nationally ranked team in Miami before beginning their Atlantic Sun season.
“We’re going to need big hits in big situations when conference play gets started,” Tollett said. “Tillery came in and delivered when we needed him to and that’s all you can ask for. Our offense picked up Brady. It was a good win for a young club, great to pick up the sweep and now we turn our attention to Miami on Wednesday.”